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ProSieben eyes stronger end to the year - CEO

BERLIN, Nov 20 (Reuters) - ProSiebenSat.1 Media is on track for a strong end to the year that will deliver profit near the top of its guidance as long as there is no new hard coronavirus lockdown in Germany, CEO Rainer Beaujean said on Friday.

Advertising bookings at the commercial broadcaster are “very strong” in November while December is “on a similar level”, Beaujean told the Morgan Stanley European Technology, Media and Telecom Conference.

Beaujean, who took the helm eight months ago, said he was confident adjusted EBITDA would end the year near the upper end of recently reinstated guidance of 600 million euros to 650 million euros ($712-$771 million).

The forecast assumed that Chancellor Angela Merkel and regional German leaders do not impose strict new social restrictions when they meet next week to discuss how to curb coronavirus infections that set a daily record on Friday of 23,648.

ProSieben has been a perennial focus of takeover speculation following the acquisition of minority stakes by Italy’s Mediaset , private equity house KKR and Daniel Kretinsky’s Czech Media Invest.

Beaujean said that KKR and CMI were both financial investors and “fans” of his strategy to focus on more local TV programming, restructure its portfolio of e-commerce businesses and reduce debt.

Asked whether ProSieben was in merger talks with Mediaset, he said: “We don’t have discussions with Mediaset.” ($1 = 0.8425 euros) (Reporting by Douglas Busvine. Editing by Jane Merriman)